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Sunday, 4 May 2014

Excerpts From President Jonathan's Media Chat


 
Via Channels.........

President Goodluck Jonathan has reassured the parents and guardians of the abducted girls of the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok that the girls will be released, advising them to provide security agencies with reliable identity of the girls to aid the search.

President Goodluck Jonathan gave the assurance on Sunday during a Presidential Media Chat, where he discussed other issues of interest.

A latest report released by the Police puts the number of the abducted girls at 276. It also said that 53 female students had been rescued while 223 are still missing.

At the Presidential Chat, President Jonathan said that security personnel had been searching everywhere since the girls were abducted and that the search was hampered by the fact that they had no means of identification to enable them identify the girls easily.

He said that the military was making concerted efforts to secure the release of the girls.

“We need all information about the girls and we have been asking the parents or their guardians to assist us with their identity, passport of photographs but we are yet to get that. We have had an extended security and one thing I am assuring Nigerians is that we will get the abducted girls out wherever they are” President Jonathan said.

More after the jump


There have been series of protest across the country with a popular clause, “Bring Back Our Girls” and the President said that the protest was in the right direction, as it stressed the need for the ‘madness’ by the terrorist group, Boko Haram to come to an end.

“The girls’ disappearance will not be another mystery that the world cannot solve. The good thing about it is that we have not had of any bad news about the girls.

“We are looking beyond Nigeria to neighbouring countries. I believe that the ordinary people will give us information about where these girls are.

“We need cooperation from the parents and the guidance, as there is no information about where these girls are yet,” he said.

Decline In Attacks

The President answering questions on why the group had not been approached the same way Niger Delta militants were tackled, President Jonathan pointed out that the terrorists were faceless and that there was no way the government would adopt same approach in handling them.

“The Niger Delta Militants’ approach is different from what we are seeing now. The Boko Haram members are not militants. The leaders of those militants came out for meetings. They have a reason for their agitations. Niger Delta militants never went to markets to kill people.

“Terrorism is based on an ideology and nobody has appeared as a leader of Boko Haram to say ‘this is what I want’,” he stated.

He assured Nigerians that the military had a capacity to contain the insurgents, but stressed that the military over the years had not been well equipped by past leaders and that his administration had been setting aside funds to equip the military well. He also said that more military personnel would be recruited.

President Jonathan said that there had been a decline in attacks in the north east, a development that showed that the military was winning the war on terror.

“As a Nigerian, when you wake up and hear that there was a bomb blast somewhere, you will feel very bad. But the security situation in Nigeria has improved. The attacks have been suppressed reasonably well.

“The explosions in Nyanya do not mean that things are worsening.

“There is a nose dive in the number of attacks in the north east.

“A group of people that are anti-progress will target a country like Nigeria because we have the highest number of black people in Africa,” President Jonathan said.

In the last two weeks, there have been reports that Helicopters were dropping supplies to Boko Haram members in their camp, but President Jonathan pointed out that there had been no shots or video to back the report.

He called on Nigerians to provide proves of such supplies to enable the government tackle the issue.

He also asked Nigerians to be patient with the government, as it tries to root terrorists out of Nigeria.

He explained that the State of Emergency in the three north east states was established to enable the military carry out their work within the area effectively without restrictions in some areas.

“Terrorism is not a thing that you expect to wipe-off with a period of one year of state of emergency. We are making progress in the war against terror and if we need to extend the state of emergency, we will extend it. We are already making some consultations,” he said.

On the World Economic Forum on Africa that will hold in Nigeria between May 7 to 9, President Jonathan also assured the international community that the government was making efforts to ensure that the forum went well.

“With the number of heads of States that are coming to Nigeria for the World Economic Forum on Africa, there will be a lot of stoppage for some time and this will increase the traffic issues. That is why we decided that public offices will not open for business and the public schools owned by the Federal Government should close down,” he said.

Issues on economy rebasing and its impact on the Nigerian economy, the missing 20 billion dollars and the President’s second term ambition were also discussed.

On his second term ambition, President Jonathan insisted that issues that border on how the Nigerian economy would grow and how security of lives and property would be achieved were more important than whether he would run for 2015 or not.

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